Live blog: Senate Media Reform Bills inquiry

Live blog: Senate Media Reform Bills inquiry
SHARE
THIS



Parliamentary joint committee into the media reform laws are taking place this morning and a separate Senate Committee will take place this afternoon. You may need to refresh your browser to see the latest posts by hitting f5.

3.05pm . . . and that's probably the end of any sensible debate to emanate from parliament with name calling to be the order of the day. So in summary, we have seen a lively day in Canberra. We have had Australia's media bosses descend on Canberra to argue passionately for and against the relaxation of the 65% reach rule depending on what they stand to gain or lose.

Austereo's Rhys Halloran and Nine Entertainment Co David Gyngell say that a relaxation of the rule is imperative. Channel Ten's Hamish McLennan on his first day in the job says it will be a disaster for more than just his new charge if the law  is to go ahead. Kerry Stokes said he thought the reach rule should be lifted, but that not now and not in the manner it has been proposed here.

Perhaps one of the more interesting areas of debate was the worth of FreeTV Australia, when its member organisations all agreed to the lifting of the 75% rule, yet now many of them are railing against it.

3.02pm Not surprisingly, the Government  has taken it badly with Leader of the House Anthony Albanese lamblasting Turnbull saying that the Opposition only took "two words" to be against the media law reforms: "public interest". 

2.55pm Switch to Parliament and Malcolm Turnball is letting fly with his opinions about the media laws. He has labelled the Public Interest Media Advocate (PIMA) as the Political Interest Media Advocate. He says that if the PIMA is passed in legislation, the Coalition would repeal it if it were elected to power.

1.08pm New changes to the ABC Charter would open up a loop hole allowing advertising on ABC's online platforms. However, the ABC says that it currently has no restrictions to anything other than broadcasting and it is a policy decision of the ABC board to extend a ban on all advertising on all ABC platforms except for magazines and the ABC shop. So essentially a storm in a teacup.

12.46pm The Australia Network (ABC-provided international network service) is one of the areas being changed by the proposed legislation whereby the ABC would be guaranteed the right to provide the international broadcast service without it ever going to tender. The ABC reps don't appear to have a problem with this.

12.45pm And he's out of time and SBS and the ABC is next up.

12.40pm Senator Doug Cameron asks Hywood about the press council's "lack of processes". Hywood says it's fair enough to ask the question, especially given the UK phone hacking council, but he says a government watch dog is a step too far.

12.35pm The Senators are having a barny between themselves over Hywood being asked why the rush with the legislation? He says it shouldn't be rushed.

12.32pm Hywood says media diversity in Australia has never been better and that anyone entering into journalism today would have a bright future.

12.30pm Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood is now addressing the Senate Committee into media reforms

12.21pm Stokes: "Do I want to take over Prime? No particularly, I think they do a good job."

12.17pm Stokes says a third player in regional news "will go broke" . . . and that "the bankers, out of the goodness of their hearts" will maintain higher cost models. "Undertakings are good until someone puts their hand up and says I'm out of money".

12.15pm Stokes says he has no issue with News Limited so long as he has a level playing field. What he does have an issue with is everyone having the same starting gun on the 75% rule change. He's implying Nine and Southern Cross Media ha prior knowledge of this current legislative process.

12.10pm Stokes says under questioning that he believes the ACCC would prevent News Limited buying Channel Ten.

12.07pm Stokes says in response to a Barnaby Joyce question that if he were in charge of the Nine Southern Cross merger he would have it done in a month after the 75% rule being lifted.

12.05pm Stokes says free TV should be free on the NBN for broadcaster and that's a matter of ongoing discussion.

12.01pm Good afternoon! Malcolm Turnbull asks Stokes whether removing the 75% reach rule would necessarily impact on local news? He points to Win and Prime doing lots of local news and Southern Cross doing very little. Stokes: no.

11.59am Stokes questions why a merged entity would need to give an undertaking. He says if Southern Cross (owned by Macquarie Bank) wanted to support local news they would have already done it.

11.58am Stokes is asked whether he thinks regional news is healthy and vibrant in Australia? The answer is colourful but basically means no.

11.56am Stokes says that the way this legislation has been presented is like there was a race and there are two starters on the blocks and the rest of us were unaware there was a race.

11.55am He says he has never seen bankers work for the benefits of the community, referring to Nine Entertainment Co's owners.

11.51am Kerry Stokes says that Seven West has had a long association with regional news and "we don't really care about the 75% rule". What is clear, he says, is that there has not been anywhere near enough debate about its removal and the implications. "There shouldn't be winners and losers from this debate."

11.47am And that's it for Nine. So the story is that Nine will protect regional news. Here's Channel Seven and Kerry Stokes; this ought to be interesting.

11.38am Gyngell makes another impassioned speech to the committee to understand that local news is a key commercial imperative and that Time Warner and Disney don't sell the digital rights to shows (on demand) as they see it as a way into the Australian market. If 10% of people start to watch shows over the Internet, it would take half of Nine's current profits. He says allowing Nine to have access to local news is about protecting themselves from the US invaders.

11.36am Barnaby Joyce takes Gyngell to task because his undertakings don't include a promise to keep regional offices open. Gyngell says it's just a draft and the undertaking will be in the next version.

11.33am Rob Oakeshott asks Gyngell about the enforceable undertakings and whether it should be extended to other free to air networks. Gyngell says it would be onerous to ask the others. He says it's just what he would do.

11.29am Gyngell says that the enforceable undertakings he is willing to commit to would go further than what Win and Prime etc are delivering.

11.28am Barnaby Joyce asks Gyngell if he will commit to preserving regional newsrooms and staff. He says he will, but adds you're all getting hung up on efficiencies and that for him it's not about efficiencies it's about capturing value.

11.25am Malcolm Turnbull asks him where the efficiencies are in a merger if he maintains local news content? Gyngell says "gone are the days when you can just put on US content . . . local news rate highly . . . it makes you the programme schedule to make money . . . the Time Warners and the Disneys are coming and you need to be able to capture that value."

11.24am He's cut short because of the time constraints. He says that he would never advocate having the rule removed if there was any doubt that regional news would be removed. "It's good commercial sense to have local news".

11.21am Gyngell is reading a prepared statement: it's powerful stuff for the abolition of the 75% rule.

11.20am: Here comes David Gyngell

11.13am The general mood of the committee appears to be one of frustration at the pace of process for such significant reforms. All the bosses have railed against the timeframes and the non-Labour senators are equally frustrated. You'd have to say it's not looking too good for the reforms.

11.05am A lot of questions have been asked of the individual media bosses and their membership to FreeTV when they have all signed on as members of that organisation yet have distanced themselves from the submission it made last year supporting a lifting of the 75% reach rule.

10.58am Investors appear to believe that McLennan has done his job of convincing the committee not to allow the 75% rule to be lifted as Southern Cross Media shares are dropping in early trade today, down 2.5% to 1.75. Last week they broke through $1.70, when Turnbull indicated he thought lifting the 75% rule made a lot of sense.

10.52am And that's it for Channel Ten. Next up is the Communications Law Centre.

10.49am Turnbull asks McLennan if he would support a change to the reach rule if provisions for regional content protection were in place? McLennan avoids the question and goes back to the standard line that the 75% reach rule cannot be passed in isolation.

10.46: Shadow Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull asks McLennan to walk the committee through the implications of a merger between Nine and Southern Cross. He is clearly trying to paint Channel Ten as acting purely out of self interest.

10.44am Barnaby Joyce asks McLennan whether the reach rules are keeping regional offices open and regional journalists employed? McLennan says he has "no doubt this is the case".

10.40am Doug Cameron takes exception to McLennan's line arguing that the regional players (Win, Prime etc) are in favour of the 75% reach rule.

10.37am McLennan continues to say that in his eyes the merger between Nine and Southern Cross Media is a fait accompli if the 75% rule is relaxed and is begging the committee to not allow it to happen in such a "rushed manner".

10.35am McLennan says that he intends to make "further commitments to news (as in reporting, not Murdoch) in its future programming.

10.34 McLennan points to News Limited's previous statement that it has no interest in Ten. He also suggests the inquiry might be better placed asking Kim William's questions regarding News Limited.

10.30: McLennan is asked about the Murdoch family's influence over him and the potential of News Limited to take over Channel Ten. He sticks to the well trodden path that there is no Murdoch control of Network Ten

10.20am Hamish McLennan warns that looking a the 75% rule independently will allow changes to go ahead that cannot be unwound if the rest of the package were to be passed.

 

was not in the public interest.

10.16am Network Ten's new boss Hamish McLennan, on his first day in the new job, said that if the reach rule was pulled away the merger between Southern Cross Media and Nine Entertainment Co would "go ahead very quickly", and that he was "very, very concerned" of the reach rule being singled out in the Bill.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Exclusive Study: Advertisers Failing To Keep Up With Australian Women’s Evolution
  • Advertising

Exclusive Study: Advertisers Failing To Keep Up With Australian Women’s Evolution

Bauer Media Group has pulled back the curtains on Aussie advertising, and women’s representation within it, thanks to exclusive new research. According to ‘The Significant Semiotics Study’, advertisers are failing to keep pace with the evolution of Australian women with two emerging ‘codes’ redefining what it is to be a woman in 2018. The results […]

Audi Go From Kung-Fu Fighting To Lionel Richie Cool In Action-Packed New Spot
  • Campaigns

Audi Go From Kung-Fu Fighting To Lionel Richie Cool In Action-Packed New Spot

With foot massages, mini bar and reclining leather seats, the new Audi looks a luxurious vehicle indeed. And the German car marque is playing the fun card in a new campaign spruiking the vehicle’s impressive tech credentials. Created by BBH London and called “Escape” the ad starts out with some fast-paced karate action and plenty of bad […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Study: 57% Of Aussies Use Voice Search
  • Technology

Study: 57% Of Aussies Use Voice Search

iProspect has released The Future is Voice Activated – a bespoke research piece that investigates voice adoption and usage across smartphone owners in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Singapore. The white paper uses these findings to outline implications for marketers when crafting their voice strategies across the six markets. Together with insights consultancy idstats, […]

Ipsos Appoints Ex-Nielsen Exec As CEO Of South East Asia
  • Media

Ipsos Appoints Ex-Nielsen Exec As CEO Of South East Asia

Ipsos chairman and CEO Didier Truchot has appointed former Nielsen executive Suresh Ramalingam as CEO of South East Asia. Ramalingam’s remit includes Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, with immediate effect. Ramalingam joins Ipsos from Nielsen, where he worked for more than two decades in various leadership roles covering the Middle East and Africa, South East […]

Study: Young Marketers Prefer A Big Salary Over Social Good
  • Marketing

Study: Young Marketers Prefer A Big Salary Over Social Good

A new study has found that graduate marketers are more interested in a sizeable pay packet and believe that comes from working for a big, established brand over an innovative start-up. The study – admittedly British – was performed by the UK’s The Chartered Institute Of Marketing and quizzed students aged 17-19 who were just about to […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
APN Outdoor Signs New Five-And-A-Half Year Deal With Sydney Airport
  • Advertising
  • Media

APN Outdoor Signs New Five-And-A-Half Year Deal With Sydney Airport

APN Outdoor has announced it has signed a landmark new agreement with Sydney Airport. The five-and-a-half year agreement extends APN Outdoor’s existing contract with Sydney Airport covering advertising assets across all domestic and international terminals plus external billboards approaching and within the Sydney Airport precinct. The extension of the partnership between APN Outdoor and Sydney Airport […]

adblock popup web banner concept. isolated vector
  • Opinion

How to reach the unreachables

In this opinion piece, Acast CEO Ross Adams (pictured below) discusses the fraught relationship between businesses and adblocking consumers, also known as, the unreachables. In a world of media saturation and shrinking attention spans, it’s increasingly difficult for marketers and advertisers to get cut-through in the ad-supported noise. Audiences are quick to press the skip […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Sweeney Advertising Wins Five New Accounts, Adds Senior Staffer
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Sweeney Advertising Wins Five New Accounts, Adds Senior Staffer

Full-service boutique advertising agency Sweeney Advertising has announced five new business wins, adding $10 million in annualised billings. The agency’s new clients are real estate network Century 21, wealth creation and management company InvestSMART, online streamlined options trading platform HighLow, Japanese restaurant chain Sushi Hub, and swimming pool and accessories distributor Bestway Australia. Sweeny Advertising […]

Instagram Video: We Are Living In A Vertical World
  • Co-Lab

Instagram Video: We Are Living In A Vertical World

The way people record, share and replay their lives has changed dramatically since the advent of Facebook-owned Instagram. Once a place where only static, filtered photos could be uploaded, Instagram now offers photo and video uploads, shopping features, direct messaging and several other tools serving users and businesses. However, for Instagram head of business Jim Squires […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Yes! It’s Virtual Reality Demystified
  • Co-Lab

Yes! It’s Virtual Reality Demystified

Virtual Reality has been a staple of science fiction for some time, Though, in terms of real-life application, the world is still coming to grips with what the tool can offer us. In recent years, tech experts, doctors, medical students and videographers have used the tool as a way of exploring worlds not normally accessed in […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Facebook Messenger: The New Age Of Communications
  • Co-Lab

Facebook Messenger: The New Age Of Communications

The unparalleled success of Facebook-owned Messenger can be pinned down to its ear to the ground approach with users. Consistently listening to its user base of more than one billion, Messenger’s ability to stay not only on trend but well ahead of it has allowed the app to become a global tool for communication; be that […]

Industry Generates A Record $10.5m For Social Impact
  • Media

Industry Generates A Record $10.5m For Social Impact

UnLtd, the media, marketing and creative industry’s social purpose organisation has announced a total industry contribution of $10.5m to social impact in FY18. The total value of funds, services, inventory and time donated by the media, marketing and creative industry increased by 21per cent compared to the previous financial year due to a growth in […]

Women In Media Profile: Danni Wright
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Danni Wright

We'd be headlining Danni Wright's Women in Media profile the "Wright stuff" if it wasn't utterly predictable and naff.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Posterscope Promotes Two
  • Media

Posterscope Promotes Two

Posterscope, Dentsu Aegis Network’s specialist out-of-home agency, has promoted Ryan Hedditch to the newly created position of national head of strategy and Samantha Summers to Sydney Group Business Director. In his new role, Hedditch is charged with driving the continual improvement and transformation of the Posterscope offering to clients and partners. Summers’ promotion will see her lead […]

Outbrain Accelerates Growth With APAC Promotions
  • Media

Outbrain Accelerates Growth With APAC Promotions

Native discovery platformOutbrain has announced several movements in its regional leadership team, with plans to make more new hires. This comes on the heels of two senior appointments it made in February, after closing a record year in the region with expansion into new markets. Yoav Tourel has been promoted to head of sales for […]

Clems Syd & Extra GUM Unveil YouTube Digital Stage
  • Media

Clems Syd & Extra GUM Unveil YouTube Digital Stage

YouTube EXTRA Gum has launched EXTRA Support Acts, a program created to support Australia’s up and coming musicians by transforming pre-roll ads on YouTube into a digital support stage. It has been created in partnership with Clemenger BBDO Sydney as creative lead, Universal Music Australia and BRING for talent and music strategy and content, MediaCom and YouTube. The […]

OMD Australia Tops 2018 RECMA Rankings
  • Media

OMD Australia Tops 2018 RECMA Rankings

OMD Australia has taken the top spot for Australia’s Number 1 media agency in size, according to RECMA’s 2018 ‘Overall Activity Volume Rankings’ report released last week. Additionally, the company was named first in profile classification with a dominant profile for the 3rd consecutive year, along with vitality ranking and structure ranking. Furthermore, OMD Australia was also named […]

Red Agency Bolsters Sydney Team
  • Media

Red Agency Bolsters Sydney Team

Judging by the image, it seems Red Agency may have had no staff whatsoever prior to this hiring spree.

Nine Appoints Editor For 9Honey
  • Media

Nine Appoints Editor For 9Honey

B&T's editor coincidentally spilled honey on his shirt while typing this. And by typing, we mean copy and pasting.

Y&R Sydney Scores Best&Less   
  • Advertising
  • Media

Y&R Sydney Scores Best&Less  

Y&R wins Best&Less amid rumours the clothing shop its changing name to 'Somewhat OK&Reasonably cheap'.

Women In Media Profile: Judy Sahay
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Judy Sahay

B&T's Women in Media profiles are like a wave washing over you. Even more so if an actual wave washes over you.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How B2B Companies Can Use Their Customer Data More Effectively (And Why They Need To)
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

How B2B Companies Can Use Their Customer Data More Effectively (And Why They Need To)

In this opinion piece, SalesPreso co-founder and CMO Joel Thomson (pictured below) explains how B2B companies can use their data more effectively and deliver a personalised customer experience that matches their B2C counterparts. From the Cambridge Analytica scandal to the EU’s recent GDPR legislation, this year has prompted individuals all over the world to consider […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine